Validating MCNP for LEU Fuel Design via Power Distribution Comparisons

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The mission of the Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors (RERTR) Program is to minimize and, to the extent possible, eliminate the use of highly enriched uranium (HEU) in civilian nuclear applications by working to convert research and test reactors, as well as radioisotope production processes, to low enriched uranium (LEU) fuel and targets. Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL) is reviewing the design bases and key operating criteria including fuel operating parameters, enrichment-related safety analyses, fuel performance, and fuel fabrication in regard to converting the fuel of the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) from HEU to LEU. The purpose ... continued below

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Primm, Trent; Maldonado, G Ivan & Chandler, David November 1, 2008.

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Description

The mission of the Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors (RERTR) Program is to minimize and, to the extent possible, eliminate the use of highly enriched uranium (HEU) in civilian nuclear applications by working to convert research and test reactors, as well as radioisotope production processes, to low enriched uranium (LEU) fuel and targets. Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL) is reviewing the design bases and key operating criteria including fuel operating parameters, enrichment-related safety analyses, fuel performance, and fuel fabrication in regard to converting the fuel of the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) from HEU to LEU. The purpose of this study is to validate Monte Carlo methods currently in use for conversion analyses. The methods have been validated for the prediction of flux values in the reactor target, reflector, and beam tubes, but this study focuses on the prediction of the power density profile in the core. A current 3-D Monte Carlo N-Particle (MCNP) model was modified to replicate the HFIR Critical Experiment 3 (HFIRCE-3) core of 1965. In this experiment, the power profile was determined by counting the gamma activity at selected locations in the core. Foils (chunks of fuel meat and clad) were punched out of the fuel elements in HFIRCE-3 following irradiation and experimental relative power densities were obtained by measuring the activity of these foils and comparing each foil s activity to the activity of a normalizing foil. The current work consisted of calculating corresponding activities by inserting volume tallies into the modified MCNP model to represent the punchings. The average fission density was calculated for each foil location and then normalized to the normalizing foil. Power distributions were obtained for the clean core (no poison in moderator and symmetrical rod position at 17.5 inches) and fully poisoned-moderator (1.35 g B/liter in moderator and rods fully withdrawn) conditions. The observed deviations between the experimental and calculated values for both conditions were within the reported experimental uncertainties except for some of the foils located on the top and bottom edges of the fuel plates.

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  • Report No.: ORNL/TM-2008/126
  • Grant Number: DE-AC05-00OR22725
  • DOI: 10.2172/940800 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 940800
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc901249

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  • November 1, 2008

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  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Oct. 31, 2016, 7:40 p.m.

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Primm, Trent; Maldonado, G Ivan & Chandler, David. Validating MCNP for LEU Fuel Design via Power Distribution Comparisons, report, November 1, 2008; [Tennessee]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc901249/: accessed October 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.